Film Review –
Director: Peter Jackson
Screenplay: Fran Walsh
Cast: Martin Freeman, Ian Mckellen and Richard Amritage
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the sequel to last year’s first Hobbit movie. The Hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and a group of dwarfs, aided by wizard Gandalf (Ian Mckellen), are on a quest to unite the dwarf kingdom under its rightful king, Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Amritage). During their journey they encounter many obstacles, with some of them being self-inflicted. In this instalment they are to retrieve a stone of power, the “Arkenstone”, which was stolen by the mighty and fearful dragon Smaug (Benedict Cumberbatch).
The movie is a joy to watch, even though it lacks some of the edge that made Lord of the Rings so attractive. Maybe that’s because we already know the ultimate end of it all, or perhaps it were the animatronic creature features. I expected to be awed, but this did not happen. However, the chemistry and attraction between Kili the dwarf and Tauriel the elf is of interest and highly fascinating, making one wonder how their story is going to play out.
Expecting to see more of Gandalf, one of my favourite characters, his absence during most of the movie was most baffling to me. The Hobbit and the King Dwarf characters seem to lack empathy and direction. Maybe this was intended, and if so, then well done, but it felt out of place for me. The character of the dragon could have been a little less comical and more devious. However, I did not like the way it mocked the Hobbit.
The journey is tedious as they keep searching for the Hobbit and the Arkenstone. My favourite scenes were the ones with Gandalf, who I feel should be the centre of the story. As much as I dreaded the more than two hours of movie watching, the time passed unnoticed. For me, the book is much better than the movie, which seems to be the case for most movies based on books.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the second installment of a three-part film adaptation based on the novel of the same name by J. R. R Tolkien. The film was preceded by “An Unexpected Journey” and it will be followed by “There and Back Again” in December 2014. Although originally planned as a two-part adaptation, it was later announced that a third film would be produced due to the scale of the project.
* – Poor
** – Average
*** – Good
**** – Very Good
***** – Excellent